This Champagne Chicken might be the easiest entertaining you can possibly do!
This recipe was inspired by a rather complicated recipe from the TV show Cook Like a Chef. It involved basket weaving halibut and salmon strips together and serving on this sauce. Okay - maybe one day I will be inspired to do the basket weaving but right now I am happy to just serve chicken or salmon or halibut on this bed of champagne goodness!
We had this as a summer lunch outside served with the Domaine de la Tourmaline Muscadet Sevre & Maine Sur Lie 2014. It was crisp and clean and delightful.
The recipe calls for Riesling and Champagne in the sauce. I happened to have an open bottle of Torrontes in the fridge. I had not heard of this grape (or wasn't paying attention) but lately I am seeing it in wine reviews and recommendations. Torrontes is an Argentinian white grape, quite fruity, bordering on flowery, typically reminiscent of peaches and apricots. It is medium acidity, fairly dry. I know some people who love it. I find it a bit too flowery for my personal taste but it is great for spritzers and white sangria because the flavours still come through. All that to say why I had some left sitting in my fridge! And it was perfect in the sauce. I think Riesling would be lovely too. I have since used a Pinot Gris in the sauce as well.
For the champagne.. you can buy splits of Henkell sparkling wine in 3 little 200 ml bottles. You would only need 1 if you are making the Champagne sauce.
If you choose to serve this chicken with Champagne Risotto though - that is going to take 3 cups for the risotto and you can use the rest in the sauce. 750 mL bottle - done! Whatever you use - use a dry Sparkling, not Rosé.
Tomato concasse.. is really just peeled, seeded tomato. If you are peeling a lot of tomatoes for say salsa you would cut an X into the bottom of each tomato and drop them into boiling water for a minute or 2. In this case you really only need 1 Roma tomato so I just cut it into ½" slices and with a thin knife trim off the skin and pop out the seed jelly. It takes less time than boiling the water!
Wine Pairing for Champagne Chicken
In this case you will want to pair your table wine with the sauce. So first choice would be to serve the same white wine that you used in the sauce. Second choice would be to serve the Sparkling you used in the sauce. You will want unoaked here. Failing either of those, look for a fruity Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscadet Sevre et Maine or Torrontes.
Red- look for a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais and serve lightly chilled.
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- ¼ cup white wine something fruity (Riesling, Pinot Gris or Torrontes)
- salt and pepper to season
- 4 Tbsps butter
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup white wine (same one you used above)
- ½ cup champagne
- 1 cup cream (I used 18%)
- juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsps chives finely chopped, or parsley
- 2 Tbsps tomato concasse
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange breasts in an even layer and pour the white wine over them. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.
- Melt butter in a cast iron skillet. Saute shallots about 4 minutes. Do not let them colour.
- Add the white wine and reduce by half. This should only take a 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce by half. This will take a bit longer - about 10 minutes.
- Add the champagne, cream, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Continue to cook the sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.
- If your chicken is not done yet remove the sauce from the heat.
- When the chicken is out of the oven let it rest, covered approximately 5 minutes.
- While chicken is resting, reheat the sauce and add the chives, tomato concasse and Dijon mustard. Heat through. If you want your sauce thicker then dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in some of the sauce from the pan to make a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the sauce as it is reheating.
- Spoon some sauce onto each plate and center the chicken breast over the sauce. Drizzle a bit of sauce over top of each breast and serve.